DISCLAIMER: This is not intended as a useful guide, more like a quick run through my normal workflow.
This is the second part of How?
For most doodleaday drawings, Inkscape is used to color. Generally, the following steps are taken.
- Import bitmap
- Trace bitmap
- Isolate lines
- Isolate shapes
- Color shapes
- Apply shadow and lighting
1: Import bitmap
Use the menu sequence File -> Import and browse to find the file to color. Or Ctrl-I.
2: Trace bitmap
Inkscape can trace the bitmap and turn it into individual colored shapes. Essentially separating the blue from the black. Select the bitmap and use menu sequence Path -> Trace Bitmap. Under the “Mode” tab, select the radio button for colors, set the number of scans to 4, and unselect smooth. Under the “Options” unselect suppress speckles.
3: Isolate lines
The four scans will initially be grouped together. Select the group and Ctrl-Shift-G to separate the individual paths. Select the path that was a trace of the blue sketch lines and delete it. There will also be a huge rectangle that was the background color of the bitmap traced (usually white). Delete that path. This leaves two remaining paths that you should select both and merge together using menu sequence Path -> Union (Alt-P-U)
4: Isolate shapes
Probably the most difficult step, we need to create shapes for all the spaces “behind” our lines. Generally a layer called “lines” is made and the path from the trace is put on that layer. A layer called “colors” is made and placed below the lines layer. Draw a rectangular shape on the “colors” layer that completely covers the space under the lines and then some. Select the lines and copy (Ctrl-C) and paste in the same spot (Ctrl-Alt-V). With this new copy still selected, move it to the “colors” layer (Shift-PageDown) with your rectangle. These Should be the only items on that layer. Since we don’t need it right now, make the lines layer invisible (Eyeball icon).
Now, select both the rectangle and the lines you copied, with the lines visible on top. With both selected, cut the top item out of the bottom by using the menu sequence Path -> Difference(Alt-P-D).
Half way there but don’t freak out about this next step. We need to break that rectangle into individual pieces with menu sequence Path -> Break Apart (Alt-P-A). You’re now thinking, what happened to my lines? Well before you do anything else, select everything on that layer (Ctrl-A) and give it an outline (Hold shift and click on any color). There they are, they’re just on top of each other.
So now you have three things: shapes you don’t need, shapes that are irrelevant since they would be under lines, and shapes you do need. Shapes you don’t need, delete (aka most of the outside rectangle).
The underline shape we can either delete as well, or cut them out of the shape they are sitting on. To do this select both the shape and the one directly behind it and use menu sequence Path -> Difference (Alt-P-D).
Now you’ve only got shapes you need. You can tell by making the “lines” layer visible again.
5: Color shapes
To make things easy, make the “lines” layer invisible again, and begin selecting shapes and coloring them.
6: Apply shadow and lighting
For depth you can add shadow and lighting. A simple shadow trick is to add a “shadow” layer above your “color” layer and set it’s opacity somewhere around 20-40 percent. Then draw shapes where you want the shadows and fill them with black. It will automatically look like a darker version of the color below it. I’ll let you figure out the rest of the tricks.
Not my best work, but it gives you an idea of the process.